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Tencent says ‘personnel reshuffle’ underway at metaverse unit, denies job cuts

source-logo  forkast.news  + 5 more 17 February 2023 07:51, UTC

Tencent, which runs the Wechat social media platform and is China’s largest company by market capitalization, said it is executing a “personnel reshuffle” in its extended reality (XR) unit that handle metaverse initiatives and denied that it is cutting jobs in the department.

Fast facts

  • Tencent’s XR unit – which has over 300 staff – was being partially disbanded, according to a Thursday report on the 36kr news site that covers China’s technology industries. The report cited unnamed sources.
  • Tencent told Forkast on Friday that the staff movements follow adjustments to its development plan for the XR business. Tencent did not disclose the exact scale of the reshuffle and denied it was cutting jobs in the department.
  • However, the staff affected by the reshuffle will be given two months to find opportunities inside or outside the company, according to a Tencent official familiar with the issue who declined to be named. The official said Tencent will continue to explore XR technologies.
  • XR is a catch-all term for technologies including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and other technologies used in metaverse development.
  • Tencent launched its XR unit in June 2022, with tech giants such as Alibaba and Bytedance also betting on XR technologies.
  • Microsoft, which announced its industrial metaverse project in October 2022, has now laid off all the roughly 100 employees in the team, according to The Information news site in a Feb. 9 report, while the metaverse division of Meta, which owns Facebook, posted a loss of $13.7 billion in 2022.

See related article: S. Korea energy conglomerate builds US$84 mln metaverse fund


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